Flying back to Spain, Grimble considered their mercifully short UK trip. She was sat in a middle plane seat because she refused to fork out an additional 12€ to sit with her beloved G. He was sat 20 rows back, enjoying the tranquillity of 3 hours grimbleless. He had her iPad and headphones, committing Grimble to a turgid 3 hours of middle seat 2 sided neighbourly chit chat.
Grimble bore her lot patiently as she was partly to blame. She had left G to his own packing. They’d decided not to avail themselves of priority boarding or luggage. Two days of life was in two rucksacks. G had successfully packed underwear, T shirts, his iPad, a sweater and a jacket. Grimble had packed similar, minus any woollens or coats. It was bloody June after all! She’d downloaded Killing Eve series 2 and was ready for her 3 hours of solo travel.
At the airport, G declared his lack of headphones and nothing to watch. He looked forlorn and that expression always brought out the sense of sacrifice in Grimble. Soon a contented G was armed with her headphones and IPad. In his defence, as Grimble shivered on the cold, wet, dismal train platform in Cambridge, he did offer to share his coat or sweater. This was how grown up relationships worked. Clearly, he would have had to remove them from his warm body first.
They were sat apart and going home. G was on episode 6 and on threat of torture were he to reveal any spoilers. The conclusion on the UK? It was fucking expensive and fucking cold.
They paid £3 for olives they expected to get for free. Their meals were tasty enough but Grimble had to wonder how diminutive a Breton chicken actually was when she received what the restaurant claimed to be half of one. Even with a voucher for a free bottle of wine in a French restaurant chain, they still parted with £50. It was lucky that the wine was free as the price ranged from £5 to £8 and you had to decide how much you wanted in your glass before they’d even pour it. Weights and bloody measures. A country confined by wine size regulations.
They’d passed by a Spanish restaurant with a Menu del Dia costing £14.50. At the shock of this, Grimble had taken to social media with a photo. Her Spanish friends did not know where to start with their chagrin. The price, the starter of 1 solitary croqueta, spelt incorrectly or offering breakfast food of churros and chocolate as a desert. It was an offence on every level. It was the equivalent of a restaurant in Spain offering a roast dinner, minus gravy and serving porridge as pudding.
Aggressive begging was rife. In Spain, a beggar might quietly approach a table and request a cigarette. In Seville, she’d been cursed by a gypsy for declining to purchase a dried up piece of rosemary. However, in UK, the begging did beggar all belief. It was a menacing demand for money from characters who were evidently going to use it to inject or drink themselves into oblivion. Naturally, G and Grimble didn’t really want to part with their cash for this purpose. When they politely said no, the beggar’s response was a brutal tirade of abuse and expletives. It was all rather unpleasant and Grimble sadly noted that a significant number of people parted with various coinage to avoid this confrontation.
Grimble missed very little. The weather was shit, the lifestyle expensive and the amount of people rushing around, ridiculous. Maybe G and Grimble viewed their Spanish world through tinto de verano glasses but she was glad that they did.